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Profile: Gemma Arterton

Tuesday, 23rd Feb 2016

Gemma Arterton - Nell Gwynn

Next week is the start of previews for Nell Gwynne, the transfer from Shakespeare’s Globe that is set to appear at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End. The show already earned praise for its run at the Southwark venuelast year and as a result there is already anticipation leading up to its next run.

But one thing that this run of performances has that the previous one didn’t is a star in Gemma Arterton, who returns to a West End stage following her last appearance in Made in Dagenham at the Adelphi Theatre. With tried and test material on the stage, plus a Hollywood star in Arterton, it is likely to be one of the year’s many hits.

But what is it about Gemma Arterton that ensures success for Nell Gwynne in the West End? We take a brief look at some of her career highlights.

Arterton was born in Kent in 1986 and performance was already in her blood thanks to family members that were involved in show business (albeit music rather than acting). She made her early acting debuts at school and eventually studied at RADA, so she was clearly seen by many as a future star.

This was proven true even before she graduated; appearing in professional productions in London and making her big screen debut whilst she was still studying. It meant that when she actually graduated she not only had a RADA qualification under her belt but some top credits to put on her CV as well.

In the years since she has barely been off our screens, with well known appearances in Blockbuster movies like the James Bond film Quantum Of Solace opposite Daniel Craig and the alternate fairy tale story Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters opposite Jeremy Renner. In between those performances she has also made her mark opposite other well known names like Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Boat That Rocked, Sam Worthington in Clash Of The Titans, Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince Of Persia and Tamsin Greig in Tamara Drewe.

But as we are here to talk about her latest trip to the West End it’s only right we talk about her work on the stage as well. With her first role in Love’s Labour’s Lost at Shakespeare’s Globe she went on to appear in The Little Dog Laughed at the Garrick Theatre in 2010 and has since returned to the Globe for The Duchess Of Malfi in 2014.

But it was her recent role in Made In Dagenham that has ensured her name is remembered in theatre circles. The musical production was based on the true story of factory workers in Dagenham who campaign for equal pay and was adapted from the film of the same name. It received national attention and attracted many theatregoers during its run.

And now Arterton returns to the West End for Nell Gwynne, once again tackling a true story of an actress and mistress to Charles II who made a big impression back in the 17th century.

It opens at the Apollo Theatre in early February.

Carly Jones
Carly Jones Theatre-goer and movie buff, Carly loves reviewing the latest theatre shows as well as heading to the cinema for big-screen showings. A trained ballet dancer, Carly works in our Marketing department and helps to manage the website and customer relations.

Article filed under: Theatre News | Star Profiles |